Thursday, July 24, 2008

Networks Within a Network

I'm becoming more and more excited about our 'Search By Networks' directory every passing day.

In case you don't already know, 'Networks' is something we built within Fast Pitch! a few months ago with the intent of it becoming the largest searchable online directory of associations in the world. The initial benefit of building this comprehensive directory of chambers of commerce, leads groups, and non-profits within our social network are two-fold:
  1. The directory allows our members the ability to showcase their membership within other networks on both their profile and the respective organizations page.

  2. The directory gives other networks the ability to promote their organization directly to Fast Pitch! members within our network.

I'll explain these benefits in more detail...

Benefit #1: Our Members

As members update their profile, they now have the ability to quickly add over 5,000 different business organizations, chambers of commerce, networks, leads groups, non-profits, etc... to their profile (note: members can also manually add organizations to their profile not found in our directory - which will eventually be added to the directory for others to choose from).

So for example, I can now quickly showcase my membership within say, LinkedIn, The Orlando Chamber of Commerce, BNI, and The United Way with a few simple clicks. As people visit my profile, they will quickly become aware of my involvement with these organizations which in turn, may become the catalyst for conversation... and ultimately doing business.

Organizations added to profiles are then hyperlinked directly to their respective network page within the overall directory. These individual network pages showcase all of the Fast Pitch! members who have added the organization to their profile, as well as a brief description of the organization, the URL, and in some cases an RSS feed that displays all of the organizations latest news.

Adding affiliations to profiles is another great opportunity for Fast Pitch! members to grow their footprint across the Internet by showcasing themselves not only within Fast Pitch!, but more importantly to anyone outside of Fast Pitch! who comes across the directory when searching Google, Yahoo! and other search engines. By adding affiliations to their profiles, Fast Pitch! members create yet another opportunity for people to find them. Again, it's all about content.

Lastly, the directory allows Fast Pitch! members who are part of very large organizations an opportunity to quickly interact with members who they otherwise may have never become aware of. Many leads groups for example, are locally based. Many people within these groups who do business beyond their region often find it beneficial to be able to network with other people who are part of the same leads groups, but reside elsewhere. The network directory enhances the line of communication by showcasing everyone within that particular organization.

Benefit #2: The Networks

The directory is an awesome recruiting & marketing tool for the associations themselves. Most networking organizations and non-profits are in constant 'recruitment mode', always looking for a cost-effective way to increase membership. The directory offers each of them a free opportunity for visibility to a highly engaged audience of professionals AND people who are searching for their type of organization on Google, Yahoo!, etc.

Within the directory, the 'cream rises to the top'. Those organizations that have the most Fast Pitch! members are featured within our search results and therefore receive more exposure and subsequently receive more traffic and more opportunity to promote their organization. It's a win-win for everyone involved.

As 'Networks' continues to grow and evolve, look for us to make the directory even more interactive by giving members within each organization the ability to communicate with one another in a variety of ways.

Stay tuned!



Blogger Shawn said...

I am totally agreed that in day today life our need's increased and so our network's, so to search a network easily, the network should be categorised, one of the simple example is a network with in the network.


9:54 PM  

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